Well geez, another player comes out of the woodwork and claims Canucks' agitator Alexandre Burrows made hurtful remarks about him. The newest story is disturbing, to be honest.
Let me give you a minor buildup first:
Former NHL'er Patrick O'Sullivan, who was drafted 56th overall by the Minnesota Wild in 2003 was gonna be a beauty-skilled NHL player in the NHL. He had his moments but in the end suffered ups and downs with Minnesota, Los Angeles, Carolina, Phoenix and Edmonton. His AHL stats are solid, but ended up signing with HIFK Helsinki in 2012. One season there and it appears he retired. See O'Sullivan's career stats here.
O'Sullivan's past is a treacherous one, littered with child abuse by his father.
An except from his recently published book: Breaking Away: A Harrowing True Story of Resilience, Courage and Triumph:
"When I came off the ice after practice or a game, I never knew exactly what was next, but I knew it was going to be bad," O’Sullivan writes.
"I’d be looking at an hour or two or more of my father’s conditioning program, running the steps in the arena stands like a hamster on a treadmill or chasing after the van for two or three miles. If he didn’t think that was toughening me up, he’d slap me around. Every year he was ramping it up: slap in the face when I was eight; a slap with more force and a kick in the ass when I was nine; a punch when I was 10; a big right hook on my jaw and a kick in the gut or ribs until I was gasping when I was eleven, twelve and thirteen."
It actually gets worse than that. Read more here.
So on to this:
Huh. So here is yet another recent player besides Jordin Tootoo claiming Burrows crossed the line with on-ice, in-game verbage. Last month, Tootoo claimed:
"Burrows, when we were in the penalty box, he said some personal remarks regarding my family and it’s just unacceptable," Tootoo told NorthJersey.com’s Tom Gulitti. "The penalty box guys even rolled their eyes like, ‘Is this guy really saying this (expletive)?’ I don’t have any respect for him. I don’t need an apology for him or nothing. It’s just classless. We’re all professionals and everyone fights a fight no one knows about and when you dive into personal issues, it’s just classless. To me, that’s cowardly."
I quickly came to Burrows' defence from my own angle.
Now, before I go any further, I just want to point out this graphic:
I did that because I am trying to fully investigate the matter. Both players who have made such allegations against Burrows have books published. So the first thing that goes off in my head is that these guys are just trying to sell more copies and are telling terrible stories and that maybe they should let on-ice trash talk stay on the ice, but are willing to rat out Burrows to sell more copies of their books. But then this happened:
Burrows says that the O'Sullivan back story is bigger than he ever thought and he apologizes now that he knows the magnitude.— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) December 18, 2015
Burrows says back in the day he would say anything to get in someone's kitchen to get them off their game. Regrets some of it now. (Cont)— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) December 18, 2015
Oh boy. This really sucks. It sucks on all fronts really. I am sure there are other players who have no censorship with their on-ice comments in heated moments. Unfortunately, Burrows is at the forefront of it all now. While I am glad that Burr confessed his sins after the Philly game, because it takes a real person to do so.....the confession/apology damns him more than he already is damned and vilified. I am not so sure I can defend this to any extent anymore.
I am a small-town redneck. My skin is thick. I would never write a tell-all book and then rat out someone. That's just me. But others are not like me. I keep having to remind myself of this. I also have to remind myself: would I talk to another person in this manner in a heated moment when I absolutely despised the person I was mad at? My answer is no. I don't ever sink that low to say such a thing as what the accusers of Burrows are saying, even with my job in management where ..trust me...I get angry. I am sensitive to other peoples' personal lives. So....what does this say about our Burrows?
On top of those 2 examples you also notice that referees are not giving him any calls either. I think you can start putting the pieces of the puzzle together at this point. Burrows verbally crosses a lot of lines when angered. Hockey players are not exempt from this rap just because they are hockey heroes. The NHL is not only a passion for these guys but also a JOB. A JOB. We don't allow this type of activity in our own work site so why let it be condoned in the NHL? Put aside the hero worship and look at it from a professional standpoint. These guys are busting their asses for 82 games a season and it is taking up half of their lives or more. Verbal/mental abuse is not tolerated anymore at the job worksite( Oh my god, I think I am getting older and growing up.)
It is what it is. The new NHL is about protecting players from concussions/headshots, so why not protect them from abuse? I can't argue against it, even though I still want the gladiator NHL that I sorely miss. Those gladiator days are over however.
So Burr needs to produce a clean slate from here on out. I am quite sure many Canucks fans have turned on him at this point, especially considering he is not producing very much. Burrows' NHL future lies in his own hands.